There is a very tender and moving scene in the play, Fiddler On The Roof. Tevyev and his wife Golda are being forced to move from their home in Russia. One day Tevyev comes into the house and asks his wife, “Golda, do you love me?”
“Do I what?”
“Do you love me?”
Golda looks at him and then responds: “Do I love you? With our daughters getting married and this trouble in the town, you’re upset, you’re worn out, go inside, go lie down, maybe it’s indigestion.”
Tevyev interrupts and asks the question, “Golda, do you love me?”
Golda sighs as she looked at him and says, “Do I love you? For 25 years I’ve washed your clothes, cooked your meals, cleaned your house, given you children, milked the cows. After 25 years, why talk of love right now?”
Tevyev answers by saying, “Golda, the first time I met you was on our wedding day. I was scared, I was shy, I was nervous.”
“So was I,” said Golda.
“But my father and my mother said we’d learn to love each other, and now I’m asking, “Golda, do you love me?”
“Do I love him?” Golda sighs. “For 25 years I’ve lived with him, fought with him, 25 years my bed is his! If that’s not love, what is?”
“Then you love me?” Tevyev asks.
“I suppose I do!” she says.
“And I suppose I love you too!” he says. “It doesn’t change a thing, but after 25 years it’s nice to know.”
Some years ago I was in Denver with a group of teenagers from Chicago at a conference. The speaker had given talks to teenagers in high schools nationwide for many years. He always had the teenagers write down for him the question they most wanted to ask their parents but never did. No names were ever given.
The question most teens wanted to ask their parents, “Mom, Dad, do you love me?” The second most-asked question the teens wanted to ask their parents. “Mom, Dad, did you really want to have me?” A God Alert
Today we close off the month of May. As St. John closes off his Gospel, he presents us with the scene of the Risen Jesus asking Peter the same question three times, “Do you love me?”
It is a question we need to ask and to have answered with our family and with our Lord.